1st snowstorm since mid-October pummels I-25 corridor in Colorado

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 12, 2019, 12:52:46 AM EST

Denver is about 13 inches shy of normal snowfall for the year, but a snow event into Saturday morning will help to bring numbers closer to average.

Following more than a week of highs in the 50s and 60s F, which is 10-15 degrees above average, a reality check is in store into the start of the weekend as a storm brings accumulating snow and a wintry mix to the central and eastern parts of Colorado.

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The biggest snowfall of the cold season so far has been 2.7 inches at Denver International Airport. This storm has the potential to surpass that amount.

Snow began to fall over the mountains and foothills during Thursday night. A transition from rain to snow will continue farther to the east across eastern Colorado into Friday evening. Airport delays are likely to build.

"As the roads cool, a layer of ice could form under any snow that accumulates," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.

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A general few inches of snow expected. In higher elevations of the eastern slopes of the Rockies, much higher accumulations are possible.

"As is often the case, snowfall will ramp up quickly from east to west across the foothills and eastern slopes of the Rockies as well as over the Palmer Divide," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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"While an inch or two of snow is expected to the east of Denver, 6 inches or more could fall in the foothills across the west," Sosnowski said. "It's a classic set up with mild weather one day and a snowstorm the next as this is how the weather tends to work along the eastern slopes of the Rockies."

Mountain resorts such as Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Aspen could all receive double-digit accumulation totals by Saturday morning, sending snowbirds into the Rockies for a weekend of skiing.

Travel into the mountains could be slowed by road closures and vehicle restrictions, so be sure to check your route before heading out.

The swath of snow will continue along an 1,800-mile-long journey from the Colorado Rockies through the lower central Plains, Ohio Valley, Appalachians and mid-Atlantic coast this weekend.

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